Quality ice makes the cocktail taste better. It’s one of the essential components that should be added in appropriate proportions. Besides cooling drinks, ice adds flavor.
However, any skillfully crafted concoction may turn upside down if you add ice that has been sitting in the ice bin for hours or cubes made with hard water. This guide will further discuss cocktail ice’s importance and usage in bars.
Purpose of Ice In Drinks
Ice is not only used to chill cocktails. When ice is shaken or stirred in a cocktail, it breaks down, adding water to the mixture. This dilution enhances the drink’s flavor while mellowing heavy fruit flavors and alcohol to create an enjoyable and smoother beverage.
Basic forms of ice commonly used in cocktails include cubes, shaved, block, and cracked. Each shape serves a different purpose when making and serving cocktails.
Ice cubes are used to make all kinds of drinks. Since they’re bigger and have a large surface area, it takes longer for cubes to melt. So they’re used to dilute a drink slowly. Cubes are popularly used in drinks on the rocks, soda, and juices.
The standard ice cube size used in bars is 1 ½ inches, which is an economical choice for serving drinks.
Shaved and Cracked Ice
Finely crushed ice is usually added to non-alcoholic drinks such as cold coffees or slushies and frappes. Moreover, it’s used in a glass or shaker to prepare a thick cocktail.
Cracked ice is smaller than cubes and melts faster in drinks. It’s used when making frozen drinks such as margaritas or daiquiri.
In the past, bartenders used large ice blocks to create smaller chunks or shavings to mix drinks. But they don’t need to use shavers and picks anymore. Today, ice blocks are used to cool a glass by swirling it around its walls.
Moreover, with various novelty molds available, ice blocks can take any form you want.
Making Fresh Ice For Cocktails
Clean water will produce the purest ice, so ensure that your ice machine’s water supply is free of any contaminants and particles.
Remember that hard water contains minerals that accumulate in the ice cube and make it appear cloudy. Consider choosing a suitable filtration system for your commercial ice machine for clear ice production.
Ice can be kept fresh in the ice bin by rotating the older and newer cubes. Ensure the ice doesn’t smell bad by keeping foods and drinks away from the ice bin. Food and drink spills in stored ice will lead to mold growth and affect its flavor.
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